Then my dad, out of the blue, sent me some money to go towards the kitchen. Enough so that I can get stone (or something like it) countertops. It was really generous, and I'm pretty sure (for the moment) that I will get Cambria countertops. It's a matter of deciding what pattern.
Did I mention the cabinets are a light-medium maple? Pretty neutral.
So here's the contenders for counter tops:
Ferndale. Green and tan with a lot of texture. Probably would have to go with green backsplash tile?
Halstead. Warm tones, lots of texture, pretty neutral. The description says there's a touch of icy blue, with tans, browns and creams.
Sheffield. Black, olive, tan and bluish gray.
Tenby Cream. I think the pieces will look more pronounced (which I like), but this is as neutral as they come. Could match with almost anything and still have interesting stone countertops.
Waterford. If you enlarge this, some of the greys are sort of tan, and there are delightful blue specks that I like.
OK, now the current tile contenders: Most of these are expensive enough that I'll have to cut them into three strips and use them with ceramic tile borders and white subway tile.
Blue opal. All opaque glass, but lots of colors that go together.
Chambray waves. I've posted this one before (or one like it). The blue is slaty, and kind of simple, where the interest comes from the shapes of the tile. Still a contender.
Trapezoids! Blues and greys.
A green one that could go with Ferndale. Meh. I feel good that I found that matches, but it doesn't really do anything for me.
Interesting crackle glass in muted tones.
This one and the one below it are the same glass, just cut into different shapes. Lots of colors to work with, and muted enough to be interesting without being overwhelming. Would have to have strips of this, or half sheets.
Same circle idea with dusky blues. This is a 12 x 12 sheet, so the tiles are about 1/2" 5/8" ish.
I took the plunge and ordered one square foot samples of the counters. It was expensive, but the store only had the small samples. I'll order some of these tile samples today and then I think I'll be ready to decide. Or, I'll be tired of the process and settle on the best one.